By The Maven | I was rushing down to the U of T Athletic Centre today and wondering as I passed all our local shops, what’s the one store I couldn’t live without along Bloor Street. Well actually, I thought, there’s two.
The first is Wiener’s Home Hardware. What would I do when I need that one screw or one washer on Saturday afternoon? Oh sure, I could schlep over to Crappy Tire or Home Despot and spend half an hour looking for parking, and another half hour looking for what I need. Or spend even longer looking for someone to help me. And then I would have to buy 125 of whatever in a pre-packaged bundle. Nope, Wiener’s is the place to stroll. Unless I need a major power tool or a specialized item for my bikes or car, the likelihood of Wiener’s having it is better than anywhere else.
But a warning here. Both Bob and Howard are very knowledgeable, but they are hardcore Habs fans. If you live and die with the twists and turns of the Leafs, please let both these guys have it. Bob grew up east of Toronto, but Howard was born here*, and just happened to be be living in Montreal when they won the Stanley Cup. Hey, you live HERE now. Oh well.
What is the other store that I wander into at least twice a week? Book City. If they don’t have a book, they can and will get it faster than any other bookstore. And the people who work here know books. The employees at Book City (unlike BMV) are book people who can make knowledgeable recommendations, answer any question and actually help you locate a book in the store.
And my other favourite store? What, you say, I’ve already had two shots at a single fave and now want to do a third? Yep. And it’s west of Bathurst, not really in the West Annex at all but on the Koreatown strip of Seaton Village. But still in the ‘hood.
And this place happens to be a gem of a treasure trove of wonderful stuff. I’m talking about Above All Electronic Surplus at 602 Bloor Street West.
Steve, the owner, stocks the most incredible assortment of wonderful stuff, from alkaline batteries to great tools to rare earth magnets (harvested from computer hard drives) and all sorts of computer and electronic peripherals, all at incredibly low prices. If you haven’t been in this store you are missing a real treat.
And these are my three favourite reasons for shopping locally in the West Annex.
You can share your favourites with me, past or present, by clicking on the comments button below.
*Correction March 9, 2011: Howard was born in Toronto. Incorrect information appeared in the original version of this article. Thank you Howard Pressburger.
Visit Howard’s amusing blog at omfghardware.com.
For other articles by this author, visit The Maven archive.